Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal Speak About Doping - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal Speak About Doping

Ivan Pasquariello

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Ubi Tennis is already in London interviewing the top 8 contenders for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic also spoke about doping following the scandal that recently invested Russia. Do tennis players believe tennis is doing enough to tackle doping? Let’s see wha they said….

 

 

 

Cesare Alfieri from Ubi Tennis is already at the O2 Arena in London, soon joined by the rest of the crew to present our readers with the best possible coverage of the last ATP event of the year: the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

The stars of the racquet have already arrived in London and met with the media on Friday, in the usual pre-tournament press conference. Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal talked about their feeling approaching the last event of their season, but also speak out about hot topics such as doping in tennis and the controls organised to grant a clean professional athleticism.

The issue of doping in sports was recently raised again after a WADA report accused Russian athletics for poor control and possible proof hiding in order to grant athletes’ participation at the 2012 London Olympics. Is tennis controlled enough?

Roger Federer revealed not to be too surprised when hearing the news of doping accusations addressed to Russia. The 17-time Grand Slam champion believes there is a lot more that can be done to grant a clean sport. “Where are the anti-doping controls” Roger admitted asking himself once after playing a final on the tour. It seems aggressive check-ups aren’t as aggressive as it is being told, or as they should be?

It was then time for Novak Djokovic to comment on the news. Clearly hearing what happened has to be considered a “sad page for sports” according to Novak, who however believes the fight against doping in tennis is doing well and athletes are often tested. The Serb attended 3 or 4 extra tests outside of competition this year. Also, athletes are supposed to always inform the anti-doping agency of their moves and their location. Failing to report a move and a stay at a different location leads to a first warning. Three warnings mean athletes can be suspended, as it happened for instance with Novak’s compatriot Viktor Troicki.

Federer thinks tennis is not fighting against doping enough. Djokovic believes the sport is on the right track. What about Rafael Nadal?

The Spaniard believes a solution would be to have the data on tests and the frequency of testing made public. That would increase transparency and allow others to believe whether it is enough or testing should be further increased. To devote part of the prize money to fund anti-doping wasn’t an idea Rafael was crazy about, contrarily to 2013 Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, who thinks the fight to doping could use some extra money to increase efficiency.

Speaking of tournament-related topics, Rafael Nadal clenched on his idea of changing the surface of the ATP finals to red clay at least once every 15 years. Djokovic said he wouldn’t mind to have the Finals moving around the world to use the tournament as a marketing tool to promote the sport to new markets.

Are players tired of playing at the O2 Arena in London?

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Roger Federer’s Muscles ’Deteriorated Considerably’ Compared To 2016, Says Fitness Trainer

Pierre Paganini has issued a fitness update about the 20-time Grand Slam champion ahead of his return to the Tour.

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Roger Federer only plays competitive tennis when he knows he can play well, according to a leading member of his team.

 

The former world No.1 is nearing his return to the Tour after being absent for more than a year due to a right knee injury which required two surgical procedures. The second was done after the first failed to give the desired results. He last played at the 2020 Australian Open where he lost in the semi-finals to Novak Djokovic.

Opting to miss the start of this season in order to recover further from his injury, Federer has been training in the Middle East. Overseeing his fitness programme is Pierre Paganini who has been part of the team for many years.

This knee had been causing him problems for several years. But he could have them under control, with adapted planning and specific exercises,” Paganini told the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger.
“He and the whole team had been working on it for a long time. The fact that a player who has played more out of 1500 games having multiple surgeries on his body is part of everyday life.’
“Roger is someone who always sees things positively. And as long as he could play and train freely, it wasn’t a big problem either. When he did it and decided to have surgery, he assumed all responsibility.”

Throughout his injury-related timeout Federer has largely avoided the limelight and shared few details about the extent of the issues he was facing. It is not the first time he has been troubled by physical issues after also missing the second half of the 2016 season due to his knee. Although this time around the recovery process was more problematic with his trainer revealing for the first time the extent it had on his muscles in the affected region.

“The big difference from 2016 is that when he took a break after Wimbledon in 2016, his muscles were always there. Now we had a total break where the muscles deteriorated considerably. It was a long time between the first operation and the time of July (when he had his second). In which we said we could gradually start working again,” he commented.
“His muscles were no longer in the same condition, the imbalances were extreme. His muscles could no longer work immediately and needed more recovery time.”
“Towards the beginning of October, we started (training) at the lowest level. However, we tried from the beginning to incorporate coordination aspects into the structure,” Paganini added.

This August Federer, who is currently the oldest player in the ATP top 100, will turn 40 as questions arises about how much longer he could continue playing for. He has previously outlined his desire to peak in time for Wimbledon where he will be seeking a ninth major title, as well as the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Although the prospect of a triumphant return is one that his trainer is cautious about. Who has cast doubt on the chances of a similar run occurring to when he returned from his past knee problem at the start of 2017 by winning the Australian Open.

“It’s a bit early to answer this question,” Paganini replied when asked about Federer’s title chances.
“The opponents are strong, tennis is getting stronger. And he made one decisive contribution to it. So it is almost his fault that it is so.’
“But I would like to emphasize that he also knows that the road will be a little longer. I cannot imagine him not asking questions about the withdrawal (retirement).”

It is evident that the Federer camp is going down the lines of ‘wait and see what happens.’ Although there are promising signs emerging from those familiar with his current situation.

“He trains practically normally. If you could see him, you would say: he is not injured, everything is fine,” Paganini stated.
“But we must not forget only when all the stages are finished does reactivity begin to work. This is very important in tennis. We’ve been working on that for a long time, and that’s where you can see if the puzzle works, in all its variants. That’s where we are now. This is good for him because it took an incredible amount of patience to get to this point. . It’s crazy thinking about all this. “

Federer is set to return to action at the Qatar Open which will get underway on March 8th. Despite his lengthy absence from the sport he is still ranked fifth in the world due to changes made to the points system last year related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Novak Djokovic’s Father Accuses Serbian Media Of Promoting ‘Ugly News’ Started By English Journalists

Srdjan Djokovic has defended his son by making a series of claims and describes him as a godlike figure to many.

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The father Novak Djokovic has hit out at the media in both his home country and the western world for not giving enough respect towards his son over the past decade.

 

Srdjan Djokovic has spoken out about the treatment of the 18-time Grand Slam winner less than a week after he triumphed at the Australian Open. On Sunday Djokovic defeated Daniil Medvedev in straight sets to win the tournament for an historic ninth time in his career. On the same day as the triumph it was confirmed that he played the tournament whilst suffering from a tear in the abdominal area.

Despite Djokovic’s recent success, Srdjan believes the world’s media doesn’t praise the achievements of his son enough and focuses too much on the negative side. In the past the tennis star has been under fire over the Adria Tour which he co-founded and the formation of the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) aimed at supporting his peers on the Tour.

“The agony has been going on for 10 years and they have extended it for another year, instead of surrendering nicely and realising Novak is the best in the world and let it go. Novak is incomparable,” Srdjan told Kurir.rs.

Continuing to express his frustration further, Srdjan has accused Serbian journalists of not ‘glorying and celebrating’ Djokovic. Alleging that his country’s media are promoting what he describes as ‘ugly news’ which originated from England.

“There’s always something wrong. And you journalists in Serbia, ask yourself when you will have such a miracle as Novak. Why don’t you glorify and celebrate him, through his character and work – look at this, you journalists need to ask yourself, you are actually generating public opinion and that is what is required of you,” he said.
“But all the evils and upside down are on the front pages and successes are put aside. I guess something will change, you know if I let someone tell me, come on, do this, do that … Why are you transmitting that ugly news stated by journalists from England, why are you transmitting it in our media, let them do what they want and we do what we want.”

Besides the media, Djokovic’s father also claims that ‘every normal person in the world’ loves the world No.1 who he describes as a ‘deity.’ A word used to describe god or goddess. He attributes the support from Chinese fans as to why Djokovic has enjoyed success in the country. He has won a total of 11 ATP titles in China.

Srdjan also took aim at the lack of recognition the 33-year-old receives for his charitable actions through his own foundation and his support of his peers.

“He is not only fighting for himself and his interests, but for other tennis players who can barely make ends meet,” he stated.
“We record something about all of Novak’s nice manners during his entire career, how he says goodbye to the opponent, how he is towards the host, how he extends his hand and kisses the opponent when he loses. Which athlete does that?
“Rarely has anyone ever received an award for fair play, and you know how many such awards Federer has – about fifteen.”

Recently journalist Milomir Marić has claimed the Western World wants to prevent Djokovic from becoming the best tennis player in the world. Although it is unclear as to what evidence he has used to make this statement. However, Srdjan believes it is only a matter of time before his son becomes the GOAT.

“They will not stop because they must understand that Novak is finally the best tennis player of all time and they will have to accept that because it is a fact and he comes from Serbia,” he concluded.

The men’s all-time Grand Slam title tally is currently jointly held by Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer who have 20 each. Next month Djokovic will break Federer’s record for the most weeks spent as world No.1 on the ATP Tour.

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Steve Flink: “Naomi Osaka Will Win At Least A Dozen Slams”

The American tennis writer comments on the women’s singles event at the Australian Open. Can Brady win a Major? Is there any hope left for Serena Williams’ quest to clinch her 24th title?

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Naomi Osaka has been crowned as the queen of Melbourne for the second time. The 23-year-old beat Jennifer Brady in the final, conquering her fourth Slam title (all of them on hardcourts), and looks poised to dominate women’s tennis for years. Conversely, current world N.1 Ashleigh Barty couldn’t find her best tennis when she needed it most, bowing out as soon as she met some resistance. These are some of the themes that Ubitennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta and his Hall-of-Famer colleague tackled during the second part of their chat.

 

Here’s the video: 

00:00 – “Osaka’s success was hardly a surprise…” 

01:55 – “The only time she struggled was when she had to rally from two match points and a break down against Muguruza in the fourth round – did she raise her level or was it the Spaniard who went missing in the clutch?” 

06:07 – What can the Japanese player still improve in her game? 

09:15 – “I don’t see why she shouldn’t win at the French Open or at Wimbledon as well, although she might struggle a little more on the clay.” How many Majors can she win? 

12:05 – Jen Brady had a dream run to the final despite not being able to train for two weeks prior to the Aussie Slam – can she make it in the future? 

16:34 – “Barty wasn’t able to find her rhythm again after Muchova called an MTO in the second set, that’s too bad because she could have played the final two matches in front of her home crowd.” 

18:28 – “Serena Williams was distraught after her defeat to Osaka, but she had an excellent tournament, beating both Sabalenka and Halep.” Was she perhaps too hard on her chances? 

25:30 – To get her 24th Major, Serena will need to play seven great matches in a row – can she still do it? “My dream is to see a Williams-Osaka match-up in a Wimbledon final…”

31:53 – Was Kenin the biggest letdown of the event? “She had an appendicectomy a few days after the event, and the pressure may have been too much for her, but I think she will keep being a contender for the biggest titles.” 

Transcript and translation by Gianluca Sartori; edited by Tommaso Villa

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